Transferring from Community College to Four-Year Institution

Preparing students to transfer to a four-year institution is a main role of community colleges. Many, if not most, community colleges have transfer agreements called articulation agreements with four-year institutions. These agreements allow course credit earned at community college to be accepted or transferred and applied to a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution.

Transfer programs allow you to follow a two-year course of study designed to prepare you to move into a bachelor's degree program at a four-year institution. The coursework you take for your degree will be similar to courses that you would take in the first two years of study at a four-year institution to earn your bachelor's degree.

You'll be able to earn an Associate's degree in Arts (AA) or an Associate's degree in Science (AS). These degrees usually require a minimum of 60 hours of credit. If you are able to attend full time, ideally, this degree will take two years to complete. Because many community college students attend part time, it obviously can take longer.

You can select a broad field such as liberal arts or education, or declare a major (special area of study) in a specific field such as history or biology.  Some community colleges have pre-professional programs that will prepare you for further study at a four-year school (and beyond), with an eye to entering professions such as architecture, dentistry, engineering, law, pharmacy, medicine, and optometry.

If you choose this path, with careful planning, your program of study will allow you to meet the admissions criteria set by four-year colleges and to transfer all or most of the credits that you took at community college.